Top Cat Begins
Time Out says
Avoid this tedious, unfunny low-grade cartoon like the plague
‘I’m not allowed a pet. My mom says I’m not responsible. I thought I had a pet cat, then I found out it was me.’ There you go – I’ve gone and spoiled the only half-decent one liner in ‘Top Cat Begins’, so you have absolutely no reason to go and see it. I’m doing this in the interests of public safety. This Mexico-made, English-dubbed travesty of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons may look like a harmless kid-friendly romp. But it’s actually one of the most annoying, tedious, lazy and unpleasant filmgoing experiences in recent memory.
As the title implies, this is meant to be an origin story, a flashback exploring how Top Cat became the smooth-talking, rube-scamming hero we know and love. Except that TC arrives in the story fully formed, so that goes right out the window. It’s just the first in a series of nonsensical, audience-insulting plot developments you have to endure before the film finally crawls to the finish line 89 minutes later.
The horrors in between are too numerous to mention, but here’s just a few: female cats with oversized breasts; a scene with a limp-wristed and lisping male airline attendant; an Officer Dibble who looks weirdly like David Cameron and spends much of the film in drag or in a towel; a flashback structure that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever; constant blaring pop hits; a pace that would make Andrei Tarkovsky glance at his watch; a total lack of humour, invention or wit. Still, the film may serve one constructive purpose – if your child walks out grinning, take them to a specialist.